UEFA Champions League: Valencia vs Atalanta preview

UEFA Champions League: Valencia vs Atalanta preview

LaLiga side Valencia will attempt a miraculous comeback in the UEFA Champions League when they host Atalanta at Estadio de Mestalla for the second leg of their last-sixteen tie on Tuesday. The Italian side won the first leg 4-1, Denis Cheryshev scored a vital second-half goal for Valencia when the score was 4-0. That was the first ever direct meeting between the two sides. Valencia don't have a great record against Italian sides in European competitions, they have won just 5 of their 12 home matches and this time they would need a big win to pull through. 

Valencia are still in with a chance to qualify but they need a 3-0 victory or better, and considering their recent form such a result seems quite unlikely. They have won just one of their last seven matches in all competitions and that victory was 2-1 at home against Betis. The last time they won a match by three goals was at the beginning of November, when they defeated Lille 4-1 in the UEFA Champions League group stage. Last week they recorded a 1-1 draw at Alaves, a result which kept them in seventh place in the league table. Maxi Gomez, Ezequiel Garay, Cristiano Piccini and Eliaquim Mangala are injured for the home side. 

Atalanta are on a four-game winning streak in all competitions, but they have not played at all last week due to matches being postponed in Italy among concerns regarding the COVID-19 epidemic. Their last result was an impressive 7-2 away victory at Lecce, a result that left them in fourth place in the league table despite having a game in hand on fifth-placed Roma. Atalanta have not lost a match since January and since then they have recorded big wins like a 7-0 against Torino and also the 4-1 over Valencia in the first leg. In fact, the last time they ended a match without scoring was in November. Rafael Toloi and Berat Djimsiti are the only injury doubts for Atalanta. 

Probable line-ups: 

Valencia: Cillessen - Wass, Paulista, Diakhaby, Gaya - Kondogbia - Florenzi, Soler, Parejo, Cheryshev - Gameiro

Atalanta: Gollini - De Roon, Caldara, Palomino - Hateboer, Pasalic, Freuler, Gosens - A. Gomez, Malinovskyiy - Ilicic

My prediction: 

Atalanta are extremely powerful in attack and I doubt that Valencia will be able to prevent them from scoring, I believe we might see a 2-2 draw here. 

Here are the odds for the match at NetBet

Valencia win - 2.80
Draw - 3.90
Atalanta win - 2.40

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